Today, Tenerife faces a number of challenges due to mass tourism. The following are some of the main problems affecting the island:

  • Environmental impact: The unbridled growth of tourism-related infrastructure has had a significant impact on the environment. The chaotic construction of hotels and resorts without proper municipal planning has resulted in the loss of vital bird nesting areas and endangered endemic species. This expansion has caused the deterioration of precious ecological environments and has altered the natural dynamics of several spaces, affecting the tides and the circulation of sands because the type of construction used has not respected the original physiognomy of the territory.
  • Poor waste management :
    • Solid waste : The concentration of people in tourist areas has generated problems in the management of the solid waste produced. This has led to the appearance of uncontrolled landfills in important natural areas, causing ecological damage.
    • Foul water: Urbanisation and building without proper planning caused a major problem of coastal water pollution and algae blooms, which were further aggravated by the failure to properly maintain sewage disposal services.
  • Overexploitation of natural resources: The high tourist demand has led to the overexploitation of the island's natural resources:
    • Tourism in the Canary Islands has led to a significant increase in energy consumption, mainly due to the construction of hotel infrastructures. To meet the growing demand, new thermal power stations have been built, resulting in higher levels of pollution and a visual impact on the landscape.
    • Tourism in the Canary Islands has generated an unsustainable demand for water. The increase in the construction of hotel infrastructures has led to excessive water consumption. Obtaining water by traditional means is not sufficient to meet current needs, so artificial methods such as seawater desalination and wastewater treatment have been implemented.
  • Infrastructure problems: Increased tourism has led to problems of congestion and lack of adequate infrastructure. Roads, car parks and public transport are overloaded, affecting the experience of tourists and the quality of life of local residents.
  • Social and cultural impact: The arrival of tourists with a different cultural background has had a significant social impact. Changes in food, clothing, entertainment and local expressions have been introduced. In addition, local culture has become an object of trade to satisfy tourists' tastes and needs.
  • Economic dependence: The island's economy is heavily dependent on tourism, which makes it vulnerable to fluctuations in the tourism market. In the event of economic crises or unstable situations, the island can suffer serious repercussions due to its over-dependence on the tourism sector.
  • Employment problems: While tourism has generated employment on the island, it is often temporary and poorly paid. This has contributed to economic inequalities and hardship for local residents.
  • In addition, the construction of hotels and resorts can have a negative impact on the availability of housing and the quality of life of local residents. Increased tourist demand has led to a rise in rental prices on the island, making it difficult for local residents to find affordable accommodation.
  • Irresponsible tourism: Despite efforts to promote sustainable tourism on the island, there are still service providers and tourists who do not respect the environment and local culture, which exacerbates the problems mentioned above.
  • Competition with other forms of tourism: Mass tourism in Tenerife often competes with other forms of tourism, such as ecotourism or rural tourism, which can lead to tensions and difficulties in tourism planning and sustainable development of the island.
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